A Timeline of How the CBSE Question Papers May Have Leaked

Tracing how a CBSE question paper reaches a student at a centre and how the leak may have unfolded.

3 min read
So, did the CBSE officials also know of the leak only when the news became public?

Over 28 lakh CBSE board students of class 10 and class 12 will have to retake their Mathematics and Economics papers, in the backdrop of the question paper leak scandal. But what are the chances of the new set of question papers not leaking? And how did leak even happen in the first place?

These questions have prompted us to look at the process of making a board exam question paper, and the journey it takes to reach the student – safely and without leakage.

A Timeline of How the CBSE Question Papers May Have Leaked
(Photo: Arnica Kala/The Quint)  

The board officials signal red at two stages – one, during the initial printing stage, and two, when it is being picked up from banks where it is stored in sealed boxes.

So, did the CBSE officials also know of the leak only when the news became public? Not really. Here’s the Delhi police version of the events that unfolded.

How Delhi Police Say CBSE Paper Leak Unfolded

The Delhi Crime Branch, which is interrogating the CBSE paper leak, revealed that the board was made aware of the involvement of a coaching centre in Rajinder Nagar as well as two schools in the leakage of papers as early as 23 March by an anonymous source.

The board allegedly received a fax, informing them of the alleged suspects, following which the regional office forwarded the complaint to a Police Inspector in the crime branch via WhatsApp – a day later, on 24 March.

Speaking to The Quint, a source from the Delhi Police said that immediate action was not taken on the complaint.

The next day, CBSE’s Academic Section at Rouse Avenue in New Delhi reportedly received a packet containing answers of Economics paper, and four mobile numbers which could have possibly received the question papers. According to police sources, the crime branch then contacted the owner of the coaching centre in the initial complaint – Vicky Wadhwa – whom they let off after questioning due to the lack of “solid proof”.

Vicky has reportedly been running a coaching centre in Rajinder Nagar where he also taught Class XII students.

According to the police, the CBSE went ahead with the Economics exam on 27 March, even after the leakage of the Class 12 paper became “public”. Later, in the evening, the  Crime Branch filed the first FIR in the case.

The news of Mathematics paper leaking first broke on social media on 28 March, when the exam was also scheduled. However, 90 minutes after the exam, the Delhi Police filed a second FIR.

A day later, on 29 March, Vicky was called in for questioning again. According to police officials, he claimed that his name was “being dragged by his rivals”, and that he too, had received the leaked paper on WhatsApp. A woman tutor who ran a coaching centre in south east Delhi, is also under scanner, police sources told The Quint. However, they also added that investigation revealed the students enrolled in Vicky’s coaching centre were recipients of the leaked question paper via Whatsapp.

Students interrogated by the police reportedly told them that the leaked papers were readily available on encrypted social media apps.

According to police sources, the probe also revealed that papers were even sold, priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000. However, police suspect that once money was exchanged, the leaked papers were forwarded to other students, and soon became viral. Therefore, the crime branch revealed that they are trying to trace the original source of the leaked papers.

The dates for the re-examination is yet to be announced by the CBSE board.

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